St. Vladimir’s Seminary to host conference on the past and future of Orthodoxy in America June 18-20, 2009

CRESTWOOD, NY [SVS/May 13, 2009] — Recent exchanges of views about Orthodoxy in America, the role of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and the forthcoming pan-Orthodox sessions that will deliberate on the “diaspora,” emphasize how vital it is to reflect upon events that shaped the current landscape. As a foundational part of its mission, Saint Vladimir’s Seminary is a venue where controversial topics can be discussed openly and freely.

Noting the importance of this summer conference for the future of American Orthodoxy, generous underwriters have made it possible for SVS to announce that the posted fees for the conference are being reduced by 50%.

V. Rev. Alexander GarklavsThe seminary will host a summer conference titled, “The Council and the Tomos: Twentieth-century Landmarks towards a Twenty-first-century Church,” June 18-20, 2009. Conference speakers will focus on two watersheds that have shaped the Orthodox Church in America (OCA): the All-Russian Council (Sobor) of 1917-1918, and the Tomos of Autocephaly granted in 1970 by the Russian Orthodox Church to its daughter church, the Orthodox Church in America, then known as the “North American Diocese.” The conference will address the significance of the OCA’s presence in North America, and future paths and possibilities open to it, including its interface with the multi-jurisdictional Orthodox Christian communities in the US and Canada.

Speakers at this important conference include

* His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America and SVS alumnus (’85, ’88)
* His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel, Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America (OCA)
* His Grace, Bishop Basil (Osborne) of Amphipolis, Exarchate of Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe (Ecumenical Patriarchate)
* Archimandrite Kirill (Hovorun), head of the Department of External Church Relations for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC)
* Fr. Mark Arey, General Secretary of SCOBA and Inter-Orthodox Director of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
* Fr. Hyacinthe Destivelle, Dominican priest, professor in the theological faculty at the Catholic Institute in Paris, and author of Le Concile de Moscou (1917-1918): La Creation des Institutions Conciliares de l’Eglise Orthodoxe Russe (Les Editions du Cerf, 2006)
* The V. Rev. Alexander Garklavs, Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and SVS Alumnus (’82, ’93)
* The V. Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky, director of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations (OCA), and SVS alumnus (’64-67)
* Mr. Charles Ajalat, pre-eminent lay leader and advocate for the administrative unity of the various Orthodox jurisdictions in North America, and Chancellor of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (AOCANA)
* Dr. Scott Kenworthy, assistant professor in the Department of Comparative Religion at Miami University, with a focus on Eastern Orthodoxy in modern Russia, and SVS alumnus (’96)
* Mr. Matthew Namee, historian and host of the American Orthodox History podcast on Ancient Faith Radio
* Dr. Vera Shevzov, associate professor of religion at Smith College, author of Russian Orthodoxy on the Eve of Revolution (Oxford, 2004), and SVS alumna (’86)

To register for the St. Vladimir’s Seminary 2009 Summer Conference, click here. Registration deadline is June 1, 2009.

Questions about the summer conference may be addressed to

The schedule for the 2009 Summer Conference is as follows


3 p.m.-6 p.m. Registration
6 p.m. Dinner (pre-order boxed dinners) for registrants

7:30 p.m. Public Address: The V. Rev. Alexander Garklavs The Pre-History of the All-Russian Council (free presentation open to the public)


8 a.m. Morning Worship & Breakfast

Morning Session
9 a.m.-1 p.m. History of the 1917-1918 All-Russian Council
Speakers: Fr. Hiacynthe Destivelle, Dr. Scott Kenworthy, and Dr. Vera Shevzov

1:00 p.m. Lunch

Afternoon Session
2:30 p.m.-5 p.m. The All-Russian Council’s Reception in Russia and the West
Speaker: Archimandrite Kirill Hovorun
The Tomos of Autocephaly
Speaker: Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky

5:00 p.m. Evening Worship
6:00 p.m. Dinner & Evening Free


8 a.m. Divine Liturgy
10 a.m. Coffee Hour

Morning Session
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The Vision of Chalcedon’s Canon 28
Speaker: Bishop Basil of Amphipolis
The Myth of Past Unity
Speaker: Matthew Namee

1:00 p.m. Lunch

Afternoon Session
2 p.m.-5 p.m. A Vision for Now, on the Basis of History
Speaker: Metropolitan Jonah
Respondents: Mr. Charles Ajalat, Archbishop Nathaniel, Bishop Maxim, others to be announced

5 p.m. Great Vespers